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Article

Billboards

Posted on

Billboards

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
Unrated
genre:
musical

We gave it a B-

Prince en pointe? Not exactly. Joffrey Ballet artistic director Gerald Arpino enlisted four choreographers (Laura Dean, Charles Moulton, Margo Sappington, and Peter Pucci) to create a full-length ballet to 13 recorded songs by the currently unpronounceable one, including ”Purple Rain,” ”4 You,” and an extended version of ”Thunder.” The result, Billboards, was a crowd pleaser when it toured the U.S. last year, so it was taped for video release. The ballet itself occasionally hits a hip-hop high, though at its bump- and-grind worst it’s like an opera singer attempting rock. Derek Bailey, who directed the video production, doesn’t help with quick cuts, odd angles, and close-ups (of dancers’ faces and limbs) that can be jarring. At least the energetic, superbly trained dancers are a consistent pleasure. Billboards could have used less flash and a little more of Prince’s impish humor. Better yet, it could have used Prince himself. B-

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